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About 4000 square meters of booths burnt at Varketili market

By Natalia Kochiashvili
Thursday, June 18
The fire broke out at the Varketili market on the night of June 15th. About 130 firefighters with 25 units of equipment extinguished the fire within a few hours. The cause of the fire is still unknown. As a result of the fire on the territory, warehouses were burnt. Some traders say they have lost thousands of Lari.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs has launched an investigation under the second part of Article 187 of the Criminal Code of Georgia, which stipulates damaging or destroying an item by setting it on fire.

According to Otar Kereselidze, the head of the Tbilisi Fire and Rescue Division, about 4,000 square meters of warehouses were burnt as a result of the fire on the territory of Varketili market.

The Ministry of Internal affairs says that according to the preliminary information, clothes and various items were burnt but no one was injured in the fire.

Nanna Tsuladze, a lawyer of Varketili 96 Ltd., says that the victims of the mixed market fire will be reimbursed for the destruction of the goods as long as they provide necessary documents:

“There is insurance of third parties, their goods will be reimbursed, but I would like to note that all these goods must have a document of purchase and people who do not have this document will be given GEL500 per square meter,” Tsuladze announced at the press conference.

As for the demand of traders that the amount is small and the counters should be repaired by the market administration, Tsuladze answered that it will be discussed after the expert's answers are given and the causes of the fire are determined.

“What happened to us was shocking. Ltd. also suffered material damage. We did not have the insurance of the market building itself, so the ltd will not receive anything from the insurance company,” the lawyer explained, adding that there’s no delay in communication between the traders and the market administration.

According to the Business Registry, the total market space is 9,399 square meters and it is fully owned by Varketili-96 Ltd., which leases commercial space to traders.

The property of the traders employed at the Varketili market was insured by the insurance company Irao. Note that since 2018, third party insurance is mandatory for public gathering facilities. Thus, the owner of the mass collection facility, including the market, is obliged to purchase compulsory liability insurance, and the insurance company is obliged to compensate the damage caused to the third party as a result of the insurance accident. The business unit buys insurance in two directions. These include property and health liability insurance. For example: in case of a shopping center/market, the damage caused to one victim's life will be reimbursed by GEL30,000 , and the damage caused to health - by GEL15,000; In case of damage to property, one person will receive an amount of not more than GEL15 000; The maximum amount of compensation for one business object from the insurance company is GEL15 million.

According to Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze, the insurance company will compensate the victims of the fire in the mixed market of Varketili.

Before the meeting of the government of the capital, Kaladze stated that the insurance company was ready to do so.

"In addition, the subject of each victim is considered individually. Tbilisi City Hall is also ready to meet, get involved, discuss the current situation and help within our capabilities.” Kaladze explained, adding that he talked with the PM about this issue and there will be meetings and consultations in the coming days.